Don’t put yourself in danger with an outdated detection system
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be released when certain home devices and appliances malfunction. Your carbon monoxide detector is meant to keep you safe from leaks, but if it’s not working the way it should, you and your family could be in danger. Here’s how to tell if you should replace your detector.
You Can’t Remember Installing It
Most carbon monoxide detectors only last about five to seven years. Some newer models come with a build or expiration date printed on them. However, if you can’t find one and you have no idea when you installed your current unit, it’s probably not working any more.
It’s Making an Annoying Chirping Sound
Not all detectors come with a built-in “end of life” signal, but you’ll know if yours does. You’ll start to hear “chirping” that won’t stop. This noise indicates that the sensor inside is no longer working to protect your home. The sooner you trace the chirping to the carbon monoxide detector, the sooner you can fix the problem by putting in a new unit.
Don’t Trust the Test Button
Pushing the test button on your carbon monoxide detector only tests the battery. It doesn’t give any indication of how well the internal sensor is working. Of course, you should test the battery regularly to ensure that the unit has the power it needs, but remember that a fresh battery can’t rescue an outdated unit.
New Detection Technology
Today’s carbon monoxide detectors do a lot more than simply monitor the air and beep when there’s a threat. Modern units are keeping up with the trend of “smart homes” and remote monitoring to bring you peace of mind no matter where you are. Some will even talk to alert you to the location of the gas.
At the very least, you should look for a model with a fuel-cell electrochemical sensor. This type is the most sensitive and gives fewer false alarms than older units. With any carbon monoxide detector, you want to aim for accuracy and safety over price or longevity.
The specialists at Dupuis energy know how important it is to keep your home free of carbon monoxide. That’s why we offer regular HVAC service plans to inspect and repair all heating equipment and ensure that it’s working the way it should. Head over to our website to discover all the services we have to offer in the RI and MA areas.
A quick DIY check to identify dangers and improve safety
Is your propane system in top shape? It doesn’t take long to find out. A few simple DIY checks can shed light on potential problems that may need to be addressed. You can perform this inspection yourself to determine whether or not the system is in need of professional help.
Remember as you conduct your inspection that propane is a volatile gas that can explode if handled or vented improperly. Always take every safety measure possible and exercise caution when working around your propane system.
As with an oil furnace, basic wear and tear can cause damage to the elements of a propane heater. Take a look at the cylinders and the tanks, keeping an eye out for problems such as rust or dents. Check for a date on the components to determine the age and whether or not any of the elements need replacing. Cylinders and piping that aren’t connected to the system should be plugged to prevent gas leaks.
If you find signs of damage that could compromise the function or safety of your propane system, contact a professional immediately.
Perform a Vent Check
Look to make sure that the vents for your heating system are clear of dirt and debris. Inspect them for the presence of dead insects, wasp’s nests and other potential blockages and clear them out as necessary. Look at the regulator vent in particular; it should be pointing downward so it doesn’t get blocked by ice, snow or falling leaves. If you notice a buildup of anything inside the vents that seems to be causing damage, have the system inspected. A severe or heavy blockage could cause problems with the piping.
Know Your Flame’s Color
Take a look at the flame when the propane heater is on. A yellow color indicates a malfunction somewhere in the system. There could be something wrong with the tank or the air inlets may be clogged. Whatever the case, this should also be addressed by a professional to determine the root of the problem and avoid a potential hazard.
These simple steps ensure that your heating system is working day to day, but for the long term, it pays to have a professional come in. Contact us at Dupuis Energy for regular, reliable system tune-ups in the RI and MA area. We’ll stop by annually, take a look at your system and make sure that it’s operating at its best. Should you discover problems during your DIY inspection, you can count on Dupuis to come in and set things right.